Digital marketing is a fluid enterprise even under normal conditions. In the COVID-19 era, it is even more fluid thanks to the constantly changing parameters thrust upon us by the economy, the government, and the virus itself. This suggests that digital marketing, at least for the time being, has to remain cognizant of the COVID-19 realities people are dealing with.
This post discusses five principles of effective digital marketing for the COVID-19 era, as proposed by Salt Lake City-based Webtek. The principles apply to digital marketing across the board, but more specifically to more professional types of organizations. The principles are especially applicable to digital marketing for lawyers and healthcare providers.
1. Continually Update Online
Websites and social media channels are the cornerstone of digital marketing. Indeed, the core principle of digital marketing is to drive customers to the organization’s website where they can be converted from casual visitors to active participants. In light of that, Webtek suggests continually updating your online presence.
An organization’s website should be updated as frequently as is necessary to keep visitors abreast of COVID-19 information. Social media channels should be updated to remind followers that the organization is maintaining compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and procedures. The point of all of this is to let potential customers know that the organization is not ignoring the current reality.
2. Be Careful with Automation
During times of stress, people would rather deal with other people than machines. From a digital marketing standpoint, this suggests being careful with the use of automated technologies. Chatbots are a good example. While chatbots play a valuable role in streamlining digital communications, they are also impersonal.
People need the reassurance of dealing with actual human beings whether they are calling a law office or trying to make a healthcare appointment. Organizations would do well to limit visitor exposure to automated technologies for the time being.
3. Refrain from Selling
Next, Webtek recommends refraining from selling for the time being. The COVID-19 pandemic has us all a little bit on edge, and the last thing we need are organizations continuing the hard-sell strategy at a time of so much uncertainty. As a side note, providing helpful information and showing concern will do more to sell right now than the most ardent sales pitch.
4. Stick with the Facts
Marketing, as a professional discipline, has always pushed the boundaries of truth and transparency. Clever marketers know how to go right up to the line without actually crossing it. They know how to sensationalize things without technically straying from the truth. At times like these, there is no need to go there. It is far better to stick with the facts and the facts alone.
The facts are especially important to digital marketing for lawyers and healthcare entities. Rather than using digital marketing to take a side in what is becoming an increasingly contentious debate, marketers should concentrate only on the facts and how those facts relate to what they are marketing.
By no means should marketers use their work to push an agenda. It is not up to them or their clients to tell people how and what they should think. Simply present the facts and let consumers decide for themselves. Neutrality is the best way to stay on everyone’s good side.
5. Keep Your Head Together
Marketers are like anyone else in the sense that they can reach a point of panic if they do not actively work to keep their heads together. If you are digital marketer, resist every urge to panic. Panic only leads to unwise decisions and unpleasant consequences.
Do not assume that your company or your clients are doomed if you don’t take aggressive action to sell. Do not make decisions based on the assumption that none of your marketing efforts can pay off as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Instead, develop a careful but deliberate marketing strategy that you can move forward with. Then keep pressing on to fulfill each campaign.
There is no arguing that the COVID-19 crisis has cast a pall over just about everything. It is affecting digital marketing as much as any other business. The key to getting through it is to adapt to it. Don’t let COVID-19 control your marketing efforts. Rather, adapt so that you maintain control. You can still offer clients effective digital marketing even in tough times like these.